Chelsea: Abramovich Running Out of Managers, Says Wilkins

02 Dec 2012

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Ex-Chelsea assistant boss Ray Wilkins (r) with former manager, Carlo Ancelotti

Ex-Chelsea assistant boss Ray Wilkins believes club owner Roman Abramovich is running out of managerial options.

The Blues have had nine managers since Russian Abramovich took over in 2003.

Interim manager Rafa Benitez has failed to win any of his first three games, while ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has been linked with the role.

Wilkins, who worked under Abramovich for two years, said: "He is running out of options. If Guardiola was to come in and got sacked, where do you go?"

The 56-year-old former Chelsea midfielder was appointed in 2008 to work as Luiz Felipe Scolari's assistant but was then dismissed by Abramovich in November 2010 while alongside Carlo Ancelotti, who was then sacked at the end of that campaign, reports the BBC.

Andre Villas-Boas replaced the Italian but he also found himself out of a job just nine months into his reign before being replaced by Roberto Di Matteo.

Despite winning the FA Cup and Champions League, Di Matteo was dismissed in November with Benitez handed a short-term contract to replace him.

Wilkins believes current Brighton boss and former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet would be an ideal manager for the club as options run low.

"[Current Real Madrid coach and former Chelsea manager] Jose [Mourinho] may not come back. Gus Poyet would be a good choice, he is cutting his teeth at Brighton and was a legend at Stamford Bridge," Wilkins told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"It is an interesting one, the options are now being closed down rather rapidly."

Meanwhile, Wilkins does not agree with claims Chelsea's players are not performing because of the fact Benitez, who led Liverpool to the Champions League title in 2005, has only been appointed on a short-term basis.

Wilkins pointed to Guus Hiddink's short reign in 2011 when he won the FA Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals, adding: "Guus came in for four months, won the FA Cup and reached the semi-finals of Champions League. The players will work hard for him [Benitez]."

Abramovich's Chelsea managers

    Claudio Ranieri: May 2000 (appointed before Abramovich took over) - May 2004
    Jose Mourinho: June 2004 - September 2007
    Avram Grant: September 2007 - May 2008
    Luiz Felipe Scolari: July 2008 - February 2009
    Guus Hiddink: February 2009 - May 2009
    Carlo Ancelotti: June 2009 - May 2011
    Andre Villas-Boas: June 2011 - March 2012
    Roberto Di Matteo: March 2012 - November 2011
    Rafa Benitez: November 2011 -


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